Commissioner Suarez voted NOT to reject the bid of the company recommended by the Mayor and staff for the baggage wrap contract. It was 9 to 2. Commissioner Suarez and Commissioner Monestime were the only two to vote no. I wrote about this yesterday and earlier in the week. Both companies had a gaggle of lobbyists trying to influence the County Commissioners. I predicted the outcome based on the lobbyists hired.
Your readers should know that from day one I have fought to eliminate the influence of lobbyists in our public bidding process. This is in line with my long-standing position that public contracts should be price-competitive and should comply with the time-tested system of sealed bidding, which guarantees impartiality and transparency.
In the case of the Miami International Airport baggage wrapping contract bid, I proposed two alternatives to the administration:
1) To allow free competition at MIA to all qualified bidders, which would reduce the price to the consumer; or, in the alternative,
2) To pre-qualify all bidders and submit sealed bids to the Clerk, to be opened and awarded in open Commission session based simply on the bottom line.
I will continue to push for these reforms, whose indirect effect is to negate the influence and role of lobbyists. I did this, for eight years as Mayor of Miami, and went so far as to include bond counsel awards, resulting in the lowest price ever ($125/hour for the winning bidder).
I will continue to push for these reforms.
Xavier L. Suarez
Commissioner District 7